Plant DetailShow Menu

Asiatic Dayflower Commelina communis

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Asiatic dayflower
Phonetic Spelling
kom-uh-LIN-uh KOM-yoo-nis
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Asiatic Dayflower is a herbaceous, summer annual in the spiderwort family that can be erect at 3 feet high or spread for up to 10 feet across the ground like a vine. It is a weedy, sprawling plant that often roots at the joints of stems. The 1 inch flowers are blue/purple and appear singly on a 2 inch stalk from mid-summer to early fall. Each flower blooms during the morning for a single day, hence the common name. The root system is fibrous and the plant can root and form new plants vegetatively. At favorable sites, the Asiatic Dayflower forms colonies that can exclude other species of plants and it is considered invasive in several States.

According to the Morton Arboretum, Commelina was named after the three Dutch botanists in the Commelin family, Johann (1629-1698), Kasper (1667-1731), and a third who died at a young age. Linnaeus felt the flowers represented the three botanists, each flower having two showy petals and a third inconspicuous petal, referring to the two accomplished botanists and the third who died before accomplishing anything of great botanical significance. Communis means "growing in colonies."

This plant does best in partial shade, in moist to mesic conditions, with a fertile soil that is loamy or slightly sandy. Asiatic Dayflower tolerates full sun and light shade.

Asiatic Dayflower can spread aggressively and become a pest. It is resistant to herbicides; nonetheless, some gardeners encourage its growth as a ground cover in moist, woody areas. The plant is a preferred food source of the White-Tailed Deer.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pests.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#white flowers#blue flowers#fall interest#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#groundcover#wildflower garden#naturalized area#herbaceous annual#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#white flowers#blue flowers#fall interest#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#groundcover#wildflower garden#naturalized area#herbaceous annual#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Commelina
    Species:
    communis
    Family:
    Commelinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Flowers are used in Japan to produce a dye.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Europe to Japan and Indo-China
    Distribution:
    Spread to eastern Canada and the United States eastern seaboard west to Texas and the Dakotas, Oregon, and Washington state.
    Wildlife Value:
    The foliage is eaten by Neolema sexpunctata (Six-Spotted Beetle) and is a preferred food source of the White-Tailed Deer.
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Each flower is replaced by a seed capsule that has 2 cells, each cell containing 2 seeds. These seeds are dark brown or black and have a surface that is bumpy and rough (rugose).
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Common Dayflower may have 3 petals that are blue (or blue and white) with yellow stamen. This flower is about ½ to 1 inch across. The sepals are usually pale white and translucent. The sterile upper stamens have showy yellow anthers that help to attract insects to the flower. The lower stamens are longer than the upper stamens and fertile. An upturned spathe that lies underneath the flower is green and about 1 to 2 inches long. The upper margins of this spathe are free all the way to the base.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are broadly lance-shaped to egg-shaped, hairless, and up to 5" long and 2" across. Leaves can be ovate, lanceolate-ovate, or slightly cordate. Veins run parallel to each other. The base of each leaf is sessile or clasping, and it has a 1 inch membranous sheath that wraps around the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The round stems are smooth and hairless.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Invasive Species